Content tagged with "Reptiles and Amphibians"

Image of a red milksnake

Red Milksnake (Red Milk Snake)

Lampropeltis triangulum syspila
One of Missouri’s most beautifully colored snakes, the harmless red milksnake often is misidentified as the venomous coral snake, which is not found in Missouri.

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Image of a red-eared slider

Red-Eared Slider

Trachemys scripta elegans
An attractive turtle with yellow pinstripes and red ears, this species is commonly seen basking on logs or rocks—until you get too close, and they slide into the water.

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Image of a ringed salamander

Ringed Salamander

Ambystoma annulatum
A secretive salamander that spends most of its time under logs or rocks or in burrows, the ringed salamander isn’t perfectly named: Its “rings” don’t completely encircle its body.

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Image of a rough earthsnake

Rough Earthsnake (Rough Earth Snake)

Virginia striatula
The rough earthsnake is a small, plain-looking snake of open, rocky woodlands in the Missouri Ozarks. They normally don’t exceed 10 inches in length.

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Image of a six-lined racerunner lizard

Six-Lined Racerunner

Aspidoscelis sexlineatus
The six-lined racerunner is a fast, alert ground dweller that don’t usually climb trees. Also called “field-streaks” and “sand lappers,” racerunners are close kin to the whiptail lizards you might know from the western United States.

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Photo of a small-mouthed salamander.

Small-Mouthed Salamander

Ambystoma texanum
The small-mouthed salamander is a medium-sized, black or dark brown salamander with a small head and mouth. In Missouri, it’s found nearly statewide — but not in the Ozarks.

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Photo of a snapping turtle walking on land with algae on shell.

Snapping Turtle (Common Snapping Turtle)

Chelydra serpentina
A large aquatic turtle with a big pointed head, long thick tail, and small lower shell, the snapping turtle is common throughout the state, anywhere there is permanent water. Conservation of this species involves regulated hunting.

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photo of juvenile southern coal skink

Southern Coal Skink

Plestiodon anthracinus pluvialis
Few people know about this secretive lizard. It has a wide, coal-black line along its sides. During the breeding season males have an orange head.

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Photo of a southern leopard frog.

Southern Leopard Frog

Lithobates sphenocephalus (formerly Rana sphenocephala)
The attractively spotted southern leopard frog is an excellent jumper and quickly leaps into water when startled. The males’ chuckling calls entertain us even as they function to attract females for breeding. Found statewide except for the northwestern corner.

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Photo of a southern painted turtle basking on a log.

Southern Painted Turtle

Chrysemys dorsalis
The southern painted turtle is small and has a prominent yellow, orange, or red lengthwise stripe down the middle of the upper shell. In Missouri, this aquatic turtle is found only in the Bootheel.

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